Peter Zekyrias awarded $115,000 scholarship for entrepreneurial engineering


This time last year, 19-year-old Peter Zekyrias was a student of St Mary’s Cathedral College sitting his trial exams for his High School Certificate.

Today, Peter is enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering and Business at the University of Technology Sydney and is the most recent recipient of a $115,000 scholarship.

Just last month, the first-year university student was awarded the John Heine Memorial Scholarship in Entrepreneurial Engineering in memory of John Heine who was a leading Australian industrialist in the 1930s.

It is a scholarship established to “foster the entrepreneurial skills of UTS engineering students and to provide them with an opportunity to gain knowledge of and be involved in business start-ups.”

Speaking with The Greek Herald, the Mechanical Engineering and Business Management major explains how he came to receive the scholarship and the origins of his passion for entrepreneurial engineering.

Peter Zekyrias graduated from St Mary’s Cathedral College in 2021. Photo: Supplied to TGH

TGH: How did you first discover the John Heine Memorial Scholarship for Entrepreneurial Engineering?

Halfway through my first semester, I received an email from the UTS Scholarship Department advising me that I had qualified to apply for the scholarship.

I applied because it firstly aligns with my passion for engineering, a passion first brought on by my obsession with Formula One racing. As a child, my parents would take my brother and I to the Grand Prix in Melbourne and we would sit opposite the pits watching the mechanics and engineers work
on these cars.

As I got older, I started thinking and analysing the aerodynamics, the mechanics, the fuel efficiency, the safety and the technology associated with putting these cars together and wanted to contribute to that one day.

I also applied because it aligned with my other passion: business. My dream has always been to run my own business one day because it allows you to run with your own ideas and innovations without restrictions. It also allows you to put your personal attributes into practice.

This Scholarship is an opportunity for me to follow through with my goals and knowing that such a prestigious foundation has invested in me also keeps me accountable in my studies.

19-year-old Peter Zekyrias on campus at the University of Sydney. Photo: Supplied to TGH.

TGH: How did it feel when you discovered you had received the scholarship?

A week after having been interviewed for the scholarship, I received an email saying I had been chosen as the recipient. It took a short moment for me to register what I was reading and then it was just pure elation. My parents were really happy and proud that my academic achievements were being recognised on such a large scale.

I feel so honoured and privileged to have become the recipient of this scholarship. It is a very substantial scholarship and there are so many talented and deserving students who also applied for the scholarship and endured a really difficult year last year just like me, trying to navigate sitting the HSC while in lockdown for months.

Each and every one of them are worthy of receiving this scholarship so it’s definitely something I don’t take for granted and I’m very grateful to UTS and the support of the John Heine Memorial Foundation for giving me this opportunity and for believing in me.

TGH: What advice do you have for students in year 12 now?

The last two years have been challenging and I think the key is to never give up when the going gets tough. My advice to current Year 12 students is to stay focused on their goals, keep motivated and stay determined to achieve them.




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